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The Classic Negative Film Simulation on the Fujifilm X-T5

Probably the most popular of Fujifilm’s film simulations, this is my look at the classic negative film simulation on the Fujifilm X-T5.


Classic Negative was without doubt my most anticipated film simulation to test once I received the Fujifilm X-T5. I tried in the past to emulate ‘Classic Neg’ on my Fujifilm X-T2 but I soon reverted back to Classic Chrome. Whilst even Jonas Rask commented on the post to say that Fujixweekly’s recipe was almost there, something didn’t feel right so I wanted to wait until I had access to the real thing.

So here we are, with the Fujifilm X-T5 in hand, I set off on a journey to develop the best classic negative JPEG recipe (for me at least). A word of warning, the journey might not necessarily be over yet and there may be updates in the future as I finally settle on something that works for me. It will definitely take something special to knock my Classic Chrome recipe off the top spot.


CLASSIC NEGATIVE FILM SIMULATION


I’m not going to spend ages getting into the background of the Classic Negative film simulation but all we really need to know is that it’s based on the Fujicolor Superia 100 film from the 1980’s. The film simulation was introduced back in 2019 (I think on the X-Pro3 initially) so many will have had plenty of experience with creating the perfect ‘look’ in-camera.

I’ve also been wanting to try out the Color Chrome Effect and the Color Chrome FX Blue so I initially looked to develop something with lighter shadows than my Classic Chrome recipe and with the Color Chrome FX Blue set to Weak. I didn’t want to get straight into white balance adjustments though I’m very happy that I’m now able to save those with each JPEG recipe.

I’ve done quite a bit of research as always and I’d highly recommend checking out the following for more inspiration:

Fujixweekly

Life Unintended

FujiFrame

Fujilove

# 1

So, this is the first recipe I went for.

Film Simulation – Classic Neg
Grain – Off
Colour Chrome Effect – Off
Colour Chrome FX Blue – Weak
White Balance – Auto +1 Red
Dynamic Range – Auto
Highlight – -0.5
Shadow – +1
Colour – +2
Sharpness – +2
Noise Reduction- -4
Clarity – Off
ISO – Auto, Minimum Shutter Speed 1/200, up to 12,800

I liked it at first but recently I’ve felt it’s far, far too cold looking. Granted we’re in the depths of winter here in the UK so it could be that. I’m not sure this is something that could become my everyday go-to recipe though I could return to it in the future.

# 2

My second attempt turned to adjusting the white balance – something I’ve never been too brave to do in an everyday recipe other than +1 Red.

Film Simulation – Classic Neg
Grain – Off
Colour Chrome Effect – Off
Colour Chrome FX Blue – Off
White Balance – Auto +3 Red -5 Blue
Dynamic Range – DR200
Highlight – -1.5
Shadow – 0
Colour – +3
Sharpness – +2
Noise Reduction- -2 (Normally I’d use -4 but I don’t think -2 is that bad and I found everything too noisy previously)
Clarity – Off
ISO – Auto, Minimum Shutter Speed 1/200, up to 12,800

Better. I like this one. It has the ‘retro’ vibe, it’s definitely much warmer than the previous recipe but perhaps a little too much. I’m not sure. The plan could be to dial it back, probably to ‘+2 Red -4 Blue’ but we’re almost there.

#3

Ok. Boom. This is the one for me. Suddenly, everything just feels ‘right’ with this recipe and I’ve been using it daily for around a week or so now (the colours of my 365 project so far). It’s managed to cope quite well with varied scenes so this, for me, is definitely my Classic Negative recipe moving forward. I now absolutely love these green tones and a slight faded look (without having to edit in Lightroom).

Film Simulation – Classic Neg
Grain – Off
Colour Chrome Effect – Off
Colour Chrome FX Blue – Off
White Balance – Auto +2 Red -4 Blue
Dynamic Range – DR200
Highlight – -1.5
Shadow – 0
Colour – +3
Sharpness – +2
Noise Reduction- -2 (Normally I’d use -4 but I don’t think -2 is that bad and I found everything too noisy previously)
Clarity – Off
ISO – Auto, Minimum Shutter Speed 1/200, up to 12,800

Adjustments in Lightroom

In addition to the recipes, whenever I import any of my JPEGs into Lightroom I use a preset which makes some very minor adjustments as standard: +10 Contrast, +15 Clarity, a small S-Curve and -5 Vignette. I could definitely see me creating a new import preset specifically for Classic Negative with a very light fade (you know, for that proper vintage vibe).

The Decision

After an initial disappointment with Classic Negative, much like with Nostalgic Negative, I think I’m on the right track with finding a Classic Negative recipe that fits my style of photography and can capture a wide range of subjects.

I like articles like this that try and set out my thought process as sometimes it helps bring clarity. I was dead set against recipe #1 over the last few days but pulling some photos together for the gallery above has put it back in the running. I guess the good thing about Fujifilm JPEG recipes is that you have space for more than one (maybe I should have two Classic Neg recipes?) though I do like to find something that works for me and stick to it.

Now that I’ve finalised recipe #3, I am more than happy enough to run with that moving forward. I love it and I hope you do too!

What do you think? I’d love to know what your thoughts are on the Classic Negative film simulation and if you have any tips on how to get the best out of it.


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2 thoughts on “The Classic Negative Film Simulation on the Fujifilm X-T5”

  1. Thanks for the recipe/s and great photo examples . I will try it this weekend.
    I really like #1, those cold tones go very well for winter

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